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Asteelflash Bedford Ltd Case Study

05 June 2024

Adaptability and precision are critical in the electronics manufacturing sector, and Asteelflash Bedford Ltd exemplifies these traits. Achieving ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, and AS 9100D certifications have propelled Asteelflash Bedford towards operational excellence and industry leadership.


Introducing Asteelflash Bedford Ltd

Asteelflash Bedford Ltd, based in Bedford, UK, has been a cornerstone in the electronics manufacturing industry since its establishment in 1987. The company specialises in the subcontract manufacture of surface mount, mixed technology, conventional electronic printed circuit board assemblies, as well as box-build assemblies tailored to customer specifications.

Operating with a dedicated workforce of 123 employees, Asteelflash Bedford serves a diverse range of industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, defence and aerospace, industrial, home automation, transportation, and custom intercompany and inter-site projects.


Achieving comprehensive certification

Asteelflash Bedford has demonstrated its commitment to quality and safety through multiple ISO certifications:

These certifications highlight the company's dedication to maintaining high standards across quality management, environmental management, occupational health and safety, and aerospace-specific requirements.

Transferring and expanding certifications with NQA

Asteelflash Bedford's decision to transfer their certification to NQA was driven by a recommendation received by their new quality manager. 

The transition process was smooth and well-guided, ensuring that existing certifications for ISO 9001 and AS 9100 were seamlessly transferred. Additionally, they transferred their ISO 14001 certification and then leveraged NQA’s expertise to gain new certification for ISO 45001. The ISO 45001 certification was integrated with their existing ISO 14001 system, creating a cohesive and robust management system.

Nigel Hammond, the NQA assessor, played a crucial role in this process. His professional and supportive approach helped Asteelflash Bedford feel comfortable during the auditing experience, meaning they could learn from any faults he found and the suggested improvements he gave.

“Asteelfash has been a pleasure to work with. From the initial transfer audit to the recertification audit and the most recent surveillance visit, they have consistently demonstrated their commitment to a rigorous yet fair audit process. They view the audit as a valuable tool for driving continuous improvement within their business.

Every team member has been polite, eager to learn from any identified issues and committed to driving improvement throughout the company.” NQA’s Head of Aerospace and Asteelflash Bedford’s Assessor, Nigel Hammond.


Expert training for continuous improvement

To ensure ongoing compliance and internal capability, Asteelflash Bedford invested in NQA's expert training programs. Two employees completed the ISO 45001 internal auditor training and ISO 14001 internal auditor training in late 2023. This year, the company is scheduled to undertake AS 9100 internal auditor training with NQA, further bolstering its in-house expertise.

The internal auditor training has significantly benefitted Asteelflash Bedford by enhancing employees' understanding of the standards and improving their ability to identify and address non-conformities. This proactive approach strengthens internal processes and promotes a culture of continuous improvement within the organisation.

NQA offers E-learning and tutor-led training, explore all our training here.

The impact of certification on business growth

Achieving and maintaining these certifications has significantly helped Asteelflash Bedford. The certifications not only meet legal compliance requirements but also enable the company to engage with local aerospace and military customers, thereby expanding its market portfolio.

The improvements in internal processes have led to increased efficiency and success, making Asteelflash Bedford more competitive in the market. This competitive edge has expanded their customer base and workload, driving business growth.

The company views ISO 45001 as a natural progression and reinforces its credibility and image as a company that cares about not only its customers but also its employees.

Looking ahead, Asteelflash Bedford aims to retain their current certifications and continue their onward trajectory of growth and excellence.


Final thoughts from NQA

NQA commends Asteelflash Bedford Ltd for their seamless transition and continued pursuit of excellence. The company's proactive approach to certification and process improvement serves as an exemplary model in the electronics manufacturing industry.

Asteelflash Bedford’s experience underscores the ease of transferring certifications and the benefits of implementing an integrated management system.

Their journey illustrates how investing in your employee's skillset and implementing strategic certifications can drive operational efficiency, market competitiveness, and business growth. 

NQA looks forward to supporting Asteelflash Bedford in its future endeavours and witnessing their continued success.

Explore all the ISO standards NQA has to offer. Visit our certification page.

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